Hideki Okajima will start the season in Triple-A along with Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein announced Monday. Epstein divulged the team's final roster moves in preparation for Friday's season opener at Texas.
The assignments of Okajima and Aceves to Pawtucket makes room in the Boston bullpen for left-hander Dennys Reyes and righty Matt Albers. Reyes and Albers are on major league contracts (after the Sox purchased Reyes' contract Saturday) and do not have options.
Reyes, who turns 34 on April 19, pitched in 59 games for the Cardinals in 2010. He had a 3-1 record with a 3.55 ERA and a WHIP of 1.45. After giving up a hit and a walk in one inning Sunday vs. the Orioles, his spring training ERA sits at 2.70 and his WHIP is 1.40 in 10.0 innings.
Albers, 28, ranked third among American League relievers last season with 75 2/3 innings pitched for the Orioles. He had a 5-3 record with a 4.52 ERA and a WHIP of 1.48. Albers pitched Sunday against his former team and allowed his first two walks and first run of spring training. His 2010 spring training ERA is 2.84 with a WHIP of 1.26 in 12.2 IP.
"A big part of the decision was the preservation of pitching depth," said Epstein, who said that the team would not have been able to keep either Albers or Reyes -- both of whom the team would have expected to be picked up by another club on waivers -- had they not been on the Opening Day roster. "Pitching attrition is usually the biggest culprit in destroying an otherwise promising season."
Aceves, 28, went 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 10 games for the Yankees last season. This spring he has a 4.05 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 13.1 IP. He will be in the rotation for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Okajima, 35, has spent four seasons with the Red Sox, but he had his worst season in 2010. Okajima went 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.72 WHIP in 56 games. This spring he has a 5.14 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 7.0 IP.
"Alfredo and Oki both pitched well enough to be on this team," said Epstein, who added that he expects both to be significant contributors at the big league level this year.
Epstein said that the Sox considered trades involving the pitchers, but that typically deals involving out-of-options players at the end of spring training yield little return. That being the case, he said that the team felt it derived the greatest value by maximizing its depth and keeping all four pitchers -- Reyes and Albers in the majors, Aceves and Okajima in the minors.
For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
We check in with the playmaker, the great number 88 Michael Irvin for his unique take on deflategate, the Patriots and the NFL.
Ben Volin has been a must-read on the Pats and Deflategate despite him ruffling the feathers of many Pats fans and he joins NFL Sunday to discuss the latest. He talks about the owners' meetings and what he expects to unfold this week as well as the showdown between Goodell and Kraft.
The guys provide more thoughts on the latest on Deflategate and get callers' reaction.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton speak to Red Sox Manager John Farrell live from Fenway Park for our weekly visit.
Joe & Dave talked to the rookie Sox catcher, who knocked in the go-ahead run against Felix Hernandez.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino fater the Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 and saw some great defense from Shane as well as a solo HR from him.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Manish Mehta on Darrelle Revis's comments about the Patriots cheating.
The Sox GM joined the show to give his thoughts on the team being 2 games under 500 at the 40 game mark.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Julian Edlow of the Green Street Blog and Draftkings.com joins the program to break down the the two conference finals series, the NBA Draft, and whether or not Corey Brewer is the ugliest player in the game?
NESN Color Commentator joins the guys to discuss what Don Sweeney will do as the new General Manager of the Bruins. What is the fate of coach Claude Julien?
The Letterman final show and Chris Mad Dog Russo still hasn't read the Wells Report
Dale, Michael and Jerry continue to discuss and take reaction to deflategate, with the latest wrinkles coming from the NFL social media department taking shots at the organization even after Robert Kraft capitulated to his team's punishment.
We wrap up the day with some of the best in sound you may have missed.
Mikey Adams is joined by Chris Villani as they take calls on the Friday night Two Minute Drill and discuss the ongoing DeflateGate saga with the New England Patriots and Roger Goodell's role in hearing the Tom Brady appeal.
Continued conversation on deflate-gate and the aftermath of the Brady suspension and sanctions passed down to the Patriots organization
Deflate-gate is still the hot topic, still gaining personal insight and what could come next
Ben, Russ, and Alex recap the Revs loss to Sporting KC and discuss what the Revs need moving forward. Also discussed is the FFP and how it will affect the transfer window.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss Dino's rehab experience.
Mike Mutnansky preview the 140th Preakness Stakes with Matt Bernier of the Daily Racing Form and Dick Jerardi of Wpressbet.com.
Dale, Michael and Jerry bring you complete coverage of Robert Kraft's capitulation, and fan reaction which generally less than pleased with the Patriots latest action.More from this show